Sustainable Urban Planning Program

Our 48-credit master’s program consists of a core curriculum of ten courses and a capstone, plus five electives. In the program, you will study cities through the lens of economic, social, and environmental sustainability – thereby gaining a skill set for promoting more competitive, inclusive, and ecological cities. The program has a unique focus on anthropogenic climate change, which is addressed throughout the entire curriculum.


Our program's core values are: Active Learning, Advocacy, Democracy, Diversity, Research and World Engagement.


Classes are taught at the GW Arlington Education Center located at 950 North Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22203. Classes meet Monday through Thursday nights from 6 to 9 PM on the sixth floor. The Program Director’s office is located in Room 639.

(703) 248-6200 ||

Required Coursework (11 classes)

Electives (5 classes)

Frequency and schedule of elective offerings varies. Please consult with Dr. Whitehead to determine when an elective of interest is likely to be offered.


The Sustainable Urban Planning Master’s Degree is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). This is a high academic standard that recognizes professional planning programs in North America on the basis of performance, integrity, and quality. Successful completion of this program may reduce the time required to become certified through the American Institute of Certified Planners.

The GW SUP Program has been accredited since 2018 and was re-accredited in Spring 2023.  

Learn more about PAB accreditation:


For the past decade, GW's Sustainable Urban Planning (SUP) master's program has provided emerging leaders from around the world with the tools to effectively and responsibly reimagine the communities of tomorrow.

We challenge our students and alumni, the change agents of the future, to use their training, education and innovation to transform policies, systems and communities. They recognize their responsibility to make planning decisions through the lens of sustainability, attaining more competitive, socially inclusive and ecological cities through their ongoing efforts. With today's unique global, environmental and social challenges, our alumni are driven to create healthier, more equitable communities every day.